BJP has not fielded its candidate from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency Varanasi for the elections to the Legislative Council. Monday was last day for filing nominations and the election will be held on March 3.
Sources in the party said, jailed don Brijesh Singh, who has filed nomination from the seat, had recently approached BJP seeking support.
Modi too is now a voter in MLC polls in Varanasi in capacity of local MP. His name was included in electoral roll recently. However, it is uncertain whether he will turn up to cast his vote, especially when there is no candidate from BJP in fray.
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BJP’s Kashi region president Laxman Acharya claimed that the decision to not field a candidate was taken due to some unavoidable situations. He didn’t elaborate.
Meanwhile, a senior party leader in Varanasi told The Indian Express that Brijesh Singh, who is currently lodged in Varanasi Central jail, had approached BJP seeking party ticket for contesting MLC election from Varanasi. But, to avoid controversy of supporting a man with criminal record in PM’s constituency, BJP turned down his request. Brijesh’s nephew Sushil Singh is a BJP MLA from Sakaldiha in Chandauli district.
Brijesh later filed nomination as independent candidate recently. His wife Annapurna Singh, a former MLC was recetly expelled from BSP by party chief Mayawati, also has filed the nomination.
A party leader said that BJP remained in a dilemma of fielding candidates till the last day of nomination. “There was an apprehension that if party candidate looses, PM will have to face the criticism from opposition,” said the senior leader.
BJP could win only eight zila panchayat seats, out of total 48 it contested in Varanasi.
Varanasi local authorities constituency includes 4,288 voters from three districts of Varanasi, Chandauli and Bhadohi. BJP’s Mahendra Pandey is MP from Chandauli while Virendra Singh Mast is MP from Bhadohi. They are also voters in the MLC polls.
In Varanasi city, BJP has three MLAs — Jyotsana Srivastava, Ravindra Jaiswal and Shyamdeo Rai Chaudhary. Local mayor Ram Gopal Mohle is also from BJP. Varanasi municipal corporation covers 90 wards of the city and has 36 municipal corporators who belong to BJP. They all are voters in MLC polls.
Six candidates are in fray in Varanasi local authorities constituency. Five of them filed nominations on Monday who include Meena Singh of Samajwadi Party and Jay Ram of Lok Dal.